Trailers showing too much. I love watching trailers. And some are really nicely crafted teasers that intrigue but don’t give away the best lines, the best bits, the whole film etc. It is especially silly for franchise films. Any Star Wars movie, for instance, would just need the classic theme over the logo with the release date. Sold to everyone who was going to buy that anyway.
Opening credits over images (mostly). I just think it breaks the fourth wall more than necessary. Real names of the people who are making the film plastered over the footage is, if nothing else, a bit messy. I don’t mind an extended beginning credit sequence (even white writing on black card) and I do sometimes enjoy the fourth wall being broken in that way – a good example is the way in which the credits appear in Funny Games, filling the screen, all big and intrusive. Basically, filmmakers, consult me before finalising the film edit and I’ll give you the yay or nay. Cheers.
Shoddy slow motion. This is usually slow motion that hasn’t been planned for before the edit. Beautiful crisp slow motion, accounted for by the way in which the footage is shot, is a wonderful cinematic treat. However, that blurry after-thought slow motion cheapens and dates any production dramatically and needs to stop immediately.
Unnecessary CGI. Please refer to the Star Wars prequels as Exhibit A, B and C on this subject. CGI can be great and is applied more than we think (and obviously to excellent effect, if it goes unnoticed). One of the many things I like about Christopher Nolan is his high use of practical effects in his films. If it can be done practically, it is always going to look better – especially as time passes.
Too much monster. It is rarely prudent to show the whole monster in a horror or sci-fi, even as an end reveal. Keeping a bit of mystery is just better practise anyway, but a lot of it is due to advancing special effects. Whether the monster is CGI or prosthetics, it will eventually look dated – therefore, the less you show, the better.
Product placement. We are bombarded with enough advertising these days, thank you very much. Breaking the fourth wall with an obvious close-up of a Dutch lager, Mr Bond, is not a welcome addition to the said bombardment.
Obviously fake pictures. I understand that if a photo of two older actors side-by-side in their younger days never actually happened in real life, visual trickery will have to be applied to make it happen. What I do not understand is why 9 times out of 10, it looks like complete pants. Just totally and obviously fake. This is on high budget films by people who I presume get paid for this – I’m pretty sure the technology is there but Hollywood only seem to have the money spare for a young blind child with Photoshop Elements 1.0 to sort this task out.
Freeze frame film endings. They have been present in films I like, such as Brooklyn and The Lives of Others but they are, without exception, always corny. Perhaps it is just something that I have got stuck in my head now, but they instantly make any situation super cheesy, without fail. But, of course, it is mainly because most freeze frame endings are of a smiley-faced triumphant protagonist. Seriously. Gross. No.